Fortin LeFaivre Announces Support for Increased Harm Reduction Measures in Rideau-Vanier

Fortin LeFaivre Announces Support for Increased Harm Reduction Measures in Rideau-Vanier
Posted on October 17, 2014 | Catherine Fortin LeFaivre | Written on October 17, 2014
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Letter type:
Announcement

Fortin LeFaivre Announces Support for Increased Harm Reduction Measures in Rideau-Vanier  

Candidate says decision makers must act on overwhelming evidence that supports harm reduction in order to improve public health in Ottawa.

OTTAWA, October 17, 2014 – This week, Catherine Fortin LeFaivre, candidate for council in Rideau-Vanier, announced her support for greater harm reduction measures, including the implementation of a safe consumption site in Ottawa. 

“In the presence of overwhelming evidence that harm reduction greatly increases public health through the reduction of infections, and by providing greater access to addiction services, I believe we should move forward with the implementation of a safe consumption site,” Fortin LeFaivre said.

 Fortin LeFaivre stated that more must be done to address the high rate of HIV and hepatitis C in Ottawa, as well as the frequent findings of needles in Rideau-Vanier playgrounds and residents’ yards.

Fortin LeFaivre points to the following troubling Ottawa statistics:

  • The rate of HIV and hepatitis C among people who use drugs in Ottawa is one of the highest in Canada. [1]
  • 70.5% of people who inject drugs in Ottawa were infected with hepatitis C. [2]
  • Approximately 40 overdose-related deaths are reported annually in Ottawa. 2
  • Over 6,000 needles were recovered in Ottawa in 2012 by Needle Hunters.

“If drug use is going to take place, I would rather it not be at our playgrounds or in other public spaces. I also believe it’s important to provide a safe place where users can seek help and prevent overdoses.”

The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, as well as many other respected organizations have publicly endorsed safe consumption sites.

“Residents of our community are not immune to these deadly diseases simply through economic status. The spread of hepatitis C and HIV should concern us all.”

Fortin LeFaivre also said that providing access to safe consumption sites makes economic sense since this approach has been proven to greatly reduce healthcare costs through disease prevention.

According to the Canadian AIDS Society, treatment for an HIV-infected person costs the healthcare system $250,000. And, according to the TOSCA study, it is estimated that opening a safe consumption site in Ottawa would reduce the number of HIV cases by 10 a year and the number of hepatitis C cases by 35.

“Since there is now overwhelming support by the medical community to implement safe consumption sites, it’s the duty of decision makers to take a stance and move forward on the issue—even if it’s politically challenging. ”

Fortin LeFaivre noted that community involvement regarding the establishment of safe consumptions sites and their ongoing monitoring and evaluation of harm reduction will be key.

“We need to ensure that these consumption sites meet Ottawa’s unique needs while respecting neighbouring residents. A fact-based communications approach will be critical. Let’s remember that the intention is to make our communities healthier and safer—for all,” Fortin LeFaivre concluded.

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More information on Catherine Fortin LeFaivre’s campaign is available at www.CFL2014.com

Media Contact: media@CFL2014.com

Catherine Fortin LeFaivre 613-979-8683   

Kristina Martin 613-882-8432

 

 

[1]  Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment (TOSCA) Study, 2012

[2]  Overdose and HIV and hepatitis C infection among people in Ottawa who use drugs, Ottawa Public Health, 2013

 

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Catherine has launched CFL Communications as its principal consultant, working with like-minded bilingual communications experts to provide strategic public affairs advice and products.

Over the past ten... More